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May 24, 2011 | 1:34 pm
Google must really like its new renewable energy hat, because the company has plunked down an additional $55 million on a major wind project.
The Internet search giant said it is partnering with Citibank, with each shelling out $55 million to help finance part of the Alta Wind Energy Center, one of the largest wind installations in the world.
With the investment, Google said it has pumped more than $400 million into clean energy projects, including an offshore wind transmission project on the East Coast and a wind farm in Oregon. The company has also plunged $168 million into BrightSource’s Ivanpah solar installation.
"Google Works On Electric Vehicle Charging, Invests $100 million In Wind Farm
Google Backs Offshore Wind Power Project
Windmills making up today’s “wind farms” are often huge (Some 300+ ft. The Legislative Building in Olympia is 287 feet). However, they produce very little electricity. For example:
1. Kittitas Valley Wind Project. Zilkha Renewable Energy of Houston, TX plans to build a large “wind farm” near Ellensberg, WA. Key facts about the project include the following: ·
Zilkha would “…install 100 to 150 wind turbines over 10,000 acres…” with total rated capacity up to 250 megawatts (MW) or 250,000 kilowatts (kW). ·
If the rated capacity of the proposed “wind farm” reached 250,000 kW and produces electricity at its full “rated” capacity for 24 hours per day all year long, it would produce 2,190,000,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity annually (i.e., 250,000 kW x 8760 hours). ·
However, wind turbines produce electricity only when the wind is blowing within a certain speed range. If the turbines produced electricity at a 34% capacity factor, the total annual output of the “wind farm” would be 744,600,000 kWh (i.e., 2,190,000,000 x .34).
That may sound like a lot of electricity. However, it’s equivalent to only 64/100 of 1% of the 117,135,248,000 kWh of electricity generated in Washington during 1999.